By Nancy Friedman, Customer Service Expert and Keynote Speaker; President of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training


The holidays are fast approaching. Few times are more important for your customer service. The holidays cannot only make your financial year a huge success, but it’s also a prime opportunity to gain new customers who will return year-round.

However, if employees fail at customer service and are not helpful, knowledgeable, or are unpleasant, you not only lose customers and lose future sales, but you also risk the chance of getting slammed on social media.

So what can owners and managers do to encourage excellent customer service during and beyond the holiday season? Here are five tips that will help up your game and provide customer service that will generate holiday sales and repeat customers in the new year.


* Do some sort of training now, before the holiday shoppers arrive. If you have some customer service training in place, review it with your employees and those seasonal workers you are hiring for the holidays. If you don’t have a customer service plan in place, hire an experienced expert to spend a day training your staff. And if you have no time to train, remind your employees that “Thank you for shopping with us” or “We appreciate your business” or “Have a wonderful holiday” go a long way, costs nothing and leaves a positive lasting impression.

* Meet with your staff at the end of each day. Discuss what went wrong and what went right. Make sure any customer service concerns are addressed immediately and solutions are made so customers walk away satisfied.

* Prepare your employees with a “mental” suit of armor. Make sure they’re aware all customers won’t be so nice and some will be difficult. Your employees will be on the front lines of occasional customer abuse. Warn them in advance and make sure that when those incidents happen that your employees will still treat the customer with politeness and respect. We all know the customer isn’t always right. But they remain the customer.

* Your employees need to care. While knowledge of a product is important, it’s just as vital that your sales people show they care and want to help the customer with a purchase. A friend of mine went into a restaurant only to find the hostess busy texting. She was more concerned with her phone than properly greeting the diner. Not good! Greet each customer as if they were bringing a million dollars of business to your store.

* The most important customer service win: smile! Don’t let your employees greet customers without a smile. A smile leaves a positive, friendly first impression.

So as the holidays quickly approach, in addition to hiring seasonal workers and hoping for big sales, also remember that if you don’t provide excellent customer service and leave a pleasant experience with your shoppers, you’ll lose an opportunity to gain and retain valued customers forever.


Nancy Friedman

Nancy Friedman

Communication and customer service expert Nancy Friedman, The Telephone Doctor, founder and chairman of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training, is back in the saddle again. Well, back into live onsite programs, and still offering her ZOOM programs, in a cost saving manner. Whichever you choose, onsite or Zoom, you’ll be glad you did. The reviews are excellent, and audiences have loudly applauded her in either area. Sales, customer service and communication skills are her area of expertise, and she welcomes calls, texts, or emails. You can reach her directly at; through the website at, where you can sign up for her newsletters; or call/text directly at 314-276-1012 central time. Bring it on. Whether you need a keynote speaker or workshop/breakout speaker on customer service and communication skills, you’ll make a great choice.